Well friends, we've somehow made it to December 2020. And though many of us were left merely surviving the chaos, we don't have to finish out the year that way!
What am I saying??
I...you...WE...have an opportunity to THRIVE right now.
Like we don't have to wait for 2021, a magic pill, or a return to "normal" life as we knew it.
Yes, you read that right - we don't have to wait for ANYTHING! We can shift from survival mode into THRIVING right dang now!
I know I need to give you some tangibles to help you start down the path to THRIVEDOM so here we go!
5 Things You Can Do Today To Feel Like A Million Bucks
1. Take Your Dang Vitamin D! You read that correctly. I can't even tell you how many articles, research studies, podcasts, resources I've read and listened to that talk about the importance of this incredible hormone. That's right, it may be called a "vitamin" but it's actually a hormone and it is responsible for SOOOOOO many things inside of your body including a robust immune system! With all the ills of the times, making sure you're vitamin D levels are topped-off will help you feel more resilient and ready to take on the world. And - unless you're exposing at least 70% of your skin to the sun, daily, you are NOT going to get enough from sun exposure alone. PRO TIP: Take your vitamin D supplement in the mornings as it can mess with your sleep at night. I, personally, take 5000 IU daily. NOTE: I am NOT a doctor and none of this should be mistaken for medical advice.
2. Stop Eating 3 Hours Before Bed. Listen, you and I both LOVE sitting down at night with a bowl of popcorn or a rich piece of chocolate while sinking into the couch to watch a show (or two) before bed. AND we both know that eating before bed is sneakily messing up your metabolic goals - but when I learned WHY it was so important to do abstain, it became WAAAAY easier for me to adhere. So here's the why, plain and simple: your body's job overnight is to do the cleaning. Clean your cells, grow, process, etc. our bodies are running a completely different program at night than they do during the day. Your body cannot do all of it's important cleaning processes at night if it's busy doing the digestion thing, and the ONLY time your body does this clean-up work is at night when you're sleeping.
3. End Your Showers With The Shivers.
Oh yes girl, I went there. Again, another thing you've probably heard but when that moment of truth comes in the shower to end your experience or finish it off with an icy blast, it's MUCH EASIER to emerge from the stall still feeling warm. But let me tell you friend, if you don't end your shower on cold, you are REALLY missing out! Cold water at the end of your shower helps to close up your pores and hair cuticles that leaves your skin looking tighter and hair shinier. But, that's just the basic stuff. Let's talk about the real benefits of cold hydrotherapy: reduced stress levels, higher level of alertness, more robust immune response, increased will-power, weight loss. But don't take my word for it, check out Wim Hof's amazing, scientifically verified work HERE. PRO TIP: get a waterproof timer for your shower and commit to 10 days (10 days is what Wim Hof recommends). Start with 30 seconds and work your way up at your own pace. You'll be amazed with how awesome you start to feel and how you begin to CRAVE that icy blast at the end!
4. Get MOVING more and more often! I hate to break it to you, but doing a 50-minute workout 2-4 times a week and then sitting on your butt the rest of the time is NOT serving you as much as you think it might be. In fact, NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) is one of the big pillars for fat loss. Beyond fat loss, moving is what are bodies were meant to do. If you want to have more energy, more fluid joints, fewer aches & pains - you need to move more and move more often! So How Do We MOVE MORE this December?! Get Those Steps In!
Traditionally, the magic number is 10,000, and we won’t argue if you want to get that
many. But truthfully, any goal that tests you a bit is a good one. I personally aim for a
minimum of 5,000. With many of our sedentary jobs, a number like 10,000 can feel out
of reach and discouraging. Instead, tune into the number you are getting on average
and try to boost it by 500-1000 steps and go from there! Great Lina, thanks for the goal - but how do I achieve it??
Make It Easy to Sneak In More. In addition to purposely taking longer walks, you can get
more steps every day by taking the stairs rather than the elevator, parking far away from
stores or other places you visit, and giving the dog an extra-long walk. Another fun trick
a client of mine taught me, was to make chores a bit more laborious i.e. going to and
from the car with groceries only 1 bag at a time, folding a piece or section of laundry
and going to put it away one or one group at a time, challenging your children to a
game of walking tag, or watering your plants one at a time and refilling the water in
between are just a few ways to sneak in more steps. Finally, whenever you have a book
or podcast you want to listen to OR you need/want to hop on the phone, batch those
activities with walking - whether it be around your house or outdoors!
When In Doubt, Take It Out(side). Are you spending time with your kids or grandkids?
Take them outside and throw a ball around, lead a scavenger hunt, or make snow
angels. If you're going at it solo, then go for a walk, build a snowman, or rake the leaves
with a little extra vigor. Bonus points if you can get to the forest preserve and get your
efforts in while amidst nature. Even when the weather gets cold - if you bundle up nicely
- you can still enjoy the many benefits of taking your movement outdoors. Plus you get
the double whammy of movement AND cold which might even take the place of your
cold shower on an particularly nippy day.
5. Remember, everything is happening FOR you, not TO you. This may seem more esoteric and non-actionable, but hang with me for a second here. Every SINGLE thing you go through, is FOR you. When you are feeling down, when you are readily engaging in the blame game or playing the victim card, you are in full-on survival mode. When things are happening TO you, you don't have control. You get sad, anxious, depressed, angry.
NONE of those emotions lead to THRIVEDOM.
But in the moment, if you can shift your verbiage to explore, instead, what is happening FOR you - now, you're empowered. When we see the challenges in our lives as the things that build our muscles (physical, mental, spiritual), we can rise to the occasion. When you begin to understand that the adversities and challenges you face are actually part of your hero's story - they are part of developing your strengths, exposing your weaknesses, and building your character - you can actually DO something with the hand you are dealt.
So every time you start to go down the blame path, when you start to feel helpless, hopeless, in need of saving...acknowledge it, then tell yourself, "this is happening for me." Every minute on this earth is a gift, every experience is a blessing. Own your saga and keep journeying to THRIVEDOM.
I hope these hacks help you to get started, right now, in making this a warm & wonderful December to Remember.
You've Got This!